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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

unmerged(92044)

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Hey, look who showed up in my MMP 1.38 Brandenburg->Prussia->Germany game!

EU3_20-1-1.jpg


After the fall of the Dutch Republic, Marshal Brandt lead a rebellion against their Swedish overlords and against his own protestations was elected Dictator-for-Life by the new Estates-General in Brussels of the revived Netherlands.
 

Winner

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Hey, look who showed up in my MMP 1.38 Brandenburg->Prussia->Germany game!

EU3_20-1-1.jpg


After the fall of the Dutch Republic, Marshal Brandt lead a rebellion against their Swedish overlords and against his own protestations was elected Dictator-for-Life by the new Estates-General in Brussels of the revived Netherlands.

History repeats itself or the AARs copy each other out :D
 

Stevo76

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amazing AAR, Keep up the great work, hoping for an update soon

*subscribed*
 

Terrifying Effigies

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Over two weeks! Why doesn't this guy ever update?

So, back in school, and in the usual early rush of work I lost track of the time. Fortunately its subsided, so back to updates. At least my Medieval European History course is keeping me in the mood for Paradox games :D . Also, don't forget to vote in the AAR Choice Awards. There's a lot of good AARs up, and the voter turnout was low last quarter. Show your support for AARland and voice your opinion!

Primas Ultima - Brandt's a skilled general but not very personally ambitious, he's just decided that he can only rely on himself to end the current mess. He's probably better than Huchtenbroek, but it remains to be seen whether he'll actually be a good administrator.

GregorytheBruce - An apt observation :) . Many people have started out with good intentions only to cause further troubles.

Qorten - It's nice to not have to worry about elections :D . Although I'm not sure why I'm now allowed to enter royal marriages...

Winner - Its hard to let go of power once its taken, so the Republican Dictatorship is probably here to stay for a while at least.

ColonelBran - That's the plan, somewhat. Unfortunately republics can't go revolutionary on their own (but then what was the Batavian Republic?), so the States-General had to go.

Enewald - Still a ways from the necessary GovTech for a full blown revolution, so the crusade to liberate the oppressed masses of Europe will be delayed for now. Plus, I've got to not lose this war as it is.

Middelkerke - Princip may have looked a hero to some at first as well. Its a rare thing for an assassination to result in anything positive, we'll have to see how it turns out.

Slinky - Not for now, at least. I usually don't use my rulers as generals unless I absolutely have to, for no particular reason.

asd21593 - Thanks! I was rereading a book on the Second Defenestration of Prague and used some of it as a base. The Thirty Years War by C. V. Wedgewood, I strongly recommend it.

NACBEAST - I keep my game a few updates ahead of where I'm writing, so that I can tie them together like that. The marshal advisor is actually some guy named Lodijiwk or something, but when I decided to switch to Republican Dictatorship I decided to use him as the new ruler. I just switched governments and immediately "offed" Huchtenbroek with a console command, it was just luck that the resulting ruler was a good military ruler.

LeoGecko - Glad you're enjoying it.

Cliffracer RIP - A challenge is always more interesting. Prawnstar's Audacity of Hope is great for that, I still don't know how he's managed to take the Iroquois to a world power. I've also read a few good CK AARs that end on a "bad" note, like IamWhoa's Kerne Theory.

aldriq - Well, as long as he's got the military behind him (and the military is in one piece), then he should be able to at least hold on to power.

Babington-Smyth - Hopefully, eventually...

Edzako - Thanks.

DavidsonShdw - Now Brandt's loose with a time machine! At least you didn't end up with Dictator Huchtenbroek :D

Winner - Brandt is not content for one universe. He must spread the orange to all universes.

Stevo76 - Thanks, hopefully I can keep up some semblance of regular updates to make your subscription worthwhile.
 

Terrifying Effigies

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Chapter 37 – The Stadtholder’s Director’s War (1710-1712)


Drastic Measures

wintertime1hw1.jpg
For now, Director Brandt and his officers were in control. The civil authorities lacked the resources or willpower to resist, and even if they had fought back, what then? The city militias would stand even less of a chance fighting the Imperial Armies than against Brandt’s coup. There was a clear void in the opposition’s leadership, leaving them rudderless and unable to respond. Hesitantly, the cities yielded to the military and Brandt’s new Directorate.

Even so, Brandt’s position was tenuous at best. His power rested solely on the loyalty of his troops – specifically, those troops closest to the capital. It was General Atrecht and his regiments that made the coup possible, and their presence along the Schelde and Maas kept the southern provinces under control. But trouble loomed in the south. When word eventually arrived at Barhydt’s winter headquarters in Nancy, the appalled general considered ordering his army north to restore the government to its rightful place. Only the fervent advice of his staff convinced him not to attempt such a march with the French still present in strength. Unsatisfied, Barhydt resigned himself to sending Brandt and Atrecht frequent messages, urging them to return power to the States-General.

With Atrecht at least firmly in his camp, Brandt could count on the loyalty of the northern armies, but even that would only carry so far. In the end, soldiers were only as loyal as the gold they were paid, and even the vast treasury of the Netherlands had its limits. Even more pressing, the Marshal’s coup would mean nothing if the war was lost. Neither Republic nor Directorate rule would matter if a French or Imperial flag flew over the United Provinces. With spring rapidly approaching Brandt needed to bring his armies to fighting shape for the new campaign season, and a plan of action devised to push back the foreign armies already encamped on Dutch soil.

First, supplying the troops. Since the end of autumn the Army of Flanders lay scattered across the southern countryside, preventing French raiding parties from slipping north through the fortress line to raid the coastal cities. Their presence in the area was beginning to wear thin on the local villages, as it became harder and harder to feed and clothe the thousands of idle men. Faced with the prospect of hungry soldiers robbing their own countrymen, Brandt moved a third of the regiments north into the cities, billeting them in the towns. Not only would it be easier to keep them fed and entertained while in the cities, but they would be close at hand to crush any resistance to the Directorate’s orders. The townspeople were long accustomed to exemptions from quartering, dating back to the days of Otto and the Holy Roman Empire, and loudly protested the new burden. The protests quieted after the newly arrived troops were sent against demonstrations in Breda and Amsterdam. Director Brandt had no room to negotiate with disgruntled burghers, but he did try to placate the cities by removing their war tax duties. To make up for the shortfall, he increased the tax levies on colonial goods and shipping, dispatching loyal officials to oversee the new policy.

pressgangsaq5.jpg

Dutch Army press gangs, scraping the bottom of the barrel
Next, rebuilding the armies. Atrecht had done a good job reconsolidating his battered companies into working regiments, but more men were needed to face the French armies to the south. Army recruiters were finding it harder and harder to scrounge up able bodied men in the Dutch cities, to the point that ship crews were being impressed into the army. Horses suitable for cavalry were getting scarce as well. With Imperial armies arranged across the east the traditional mercenary recruiting grounds of the Germanies were cut off.

Help would come from an unlikely source. Through long negotiations, Brandt reached an agreement with the King of Great Britain. Frederick William had no love for Gerard Brandt or the Dutch, but the great war between their nations was almost three generations ago, and a strong France was more of a threat to his remaining Continental possessions than feuding cloggies. There was also the matter of the Imperial title, taken from his family upon the death of his grand-uncle George VI in the 1680s. Defeat might convince the Electors to abandon the upstart Hapsburg-Ivanovs and return the crown to where it belonged, firmly on a British monarch’s brow. In return for greater trading privileges in the Dutch markets, the King would allow Dutch recruiters to set up shop in England. Mercenaries from across the Isles flocked to the call of Dutch gold, and the first British companies began arriving in Calais by late February.

irishmercenariesos0.jpg

Irish mercenaries under Dutch employ, early 1711
All that was left was a plan. The Netherlands was caught in a vice, with the French and Austrians squeezing tighter every day. Half the army was caught in Lorraine, entangled with the French armies along the Meuse. What was available in the north wasn’t enough to stop both the Austrians and French together. Director Brandt could see only one chance for victory – defeat the French.

Next – A Second Try in the South​
 
Last edited:

unmerged(47582)

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I just had a deja vu lol

A few updates ago when you where killing all those French cav i tought that its must be damn hard to replace those horses...


Edit: Since you used Maas and not Meuse i thnk you like using the Dutch names for the Rivers... Its Schelde and not Scheldt... Just saying that because i think you would like it to be right... Right? :)
 

Slinky

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I have to say that those Irish mercenaries don't look like elite troops, but hopefully they will prove me wrong.
 

Urcules

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I just had a deja vu lol

A few updates ago when you where killing all those French cav i tought that its must be damn hard to replace those horses...


Edit: Since you used Maas and not Meuse i thnk you like using the Dutch names for the Rivers... Its Schelde and not Scheldt... Just saying that because i think you would like it to be right... Right? :)

Depends on the source, I can imagine that a cartographer at the time could write Scheldt, as people in Antwerp still say as we speak (" 't Scheld "), although spelling has changed of course.
I think you can find maps with the name of that particular river written in two or maybe more ways.

Enough nitpicking from me,

Great update!
 

unmerged(47582)

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Depends on the source, I can imagine that a cartographer at the time could write Scheldt, as people in Antwerp still say as we speak (" 't Scheld "), although spelling has changed of course.
I think you can find maps with the name of that particular river written in two or maybe more ways.

Enough nitpicking from me,

Great update!

At the end of the 18th century it was already Schelde.
I don't know about the 16th and 17th centuries...
 

Winner

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Ah, the British returned to their traditional European foreign policy as outlined by sir Humphrey Appleby:

"Minister, Britain has had the same foreign policy objective for at least the last 500 years: to create a disunited Europe. In that cause we have fought with the Dutch against the Spanish, with the Germans against the French, with the French and Italians against the Germans, and with the French against the Germans and Italians. Divide and rule, you see. Why should we change now when it's worked so well?"

:)
 

Enewald

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To Waterloo? :rofl:

Maybe you should try to divide your enemies, accept to help france against austria and vice versa, trying to become a 'protectrocate' for one of them. :p
 

Terrifying Effigies

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EDIT - It's pretty late here, so I'll post a gameplay description tomorrow.

Middelkerke - Thanks for pointing that out. For lands under Dutch control I try to use the Dutch names, ie Atrecht instead of Arras, at least where its practical :)

Slinky - You just have to get them drunk and point them at the enemy. Although that can probably be said of most mercenaries.

asd - I find pictures here and there. Whenever I see a cool picture while browsing wikipedia I save it to a stockpile. I wish I could find a bunch of good, editable black and white maps though. There's really a lack of them on the internet.

Urcules/Middelkerke - Well, the modern Dutch name is Schelde, so I think I'll just go with that :D .

Winner - Being an island certainly has it advantages!

Enewald - That would certainly be a good plan, although I'd hate to fight Austria directly with all her allies. Austria-Hungary + Muscovy + a bunch of other countries = dead Netherlands
 
Last edited:

Terrifying Effigies

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Chapter 37 – The Stadtholder’s Director’s War (1710-1712)


The Muddy Somme
By late March of the new year all the preparations had been made. For the moment resistance to the coup was under control, and General van Atrecht’s army was at its peak. 35,000 soldiers waited restlessly along the Maas, with another half dozen mercenary regiments ready in Calais. This was Director Brandt’s last, best chance at knocking the French out of the war. The uncooperative weather was still cold and blustery, but Brandt could not afford any further delays. On March 28 the Army of Flanders set out southward, long columns of troops tramping down muddy highways towards the French.

Over 27,000 French soldiers had spent the winter besieging the cities of Atrecht and Loos in Artois, intent on cracking the Dutch fortress line. Like Brandt and van Atrecht, the French commander had been forced to spread his men throughout the province to find provisions as the seiges dragged on. Some intrepid foraging bands ventured as far north as Ghent, only 30 miles from Antwerpen. French cavalry patrols had kept a steady eye on Dutch preparations along the Maas and Schelde. But when the rain and thaw of March turned the roads into quagmires the patrols were cut back rather than risk losing horses and riders to the the treacherous roads.

The Dutch weren’t as reliant on their cavalry as the French, a fact that Brandt hoped to capitalize on. Outpacing their mired baggage and artillery trains, the Dutch infantry marched south along the Ghent highway under the cover of rain and fog. Meanwhile, the British mercenary force in Calais slipped south, evading the French pickets left to mind them. They circled around behind the French position with the intention of cutting off any potential retreat.

battleofatrechtcopymn2.jpg

The Battle of Atrecht, March/April 1711
Luck was with the Dutch. No alarm was raised until the first columns reached Tournai and Lille, almost three days of hard marching from Antwerpen. Attacking off the march, van Atrecht’s forces defeated a French detachment outside the town of Douai before turning to engage the main French army. The French were well dug in outside of Atrecht, but the weeks of rain left the ground too marshy for their heavy cavalry to sally forth. An infantry fight was just what General Atrecht wanted. Braving French artillery fire the Dutch assaulted the enemy lines, quickly overwhelming the defenders. The French siege was broken and scattered. With the route south blocked by the British mercenaries, the remnants retreated northward to St. Omer and Dunkirk, pursued by the recently arrived Dutch cavalry. Only the far right flank managed to escape south to Amiens, where they met up with reinforcements from Paris.

The Army of Flanders followed to the north bank of the Somme, halting just short of the city. With the weather improving General Atrecht decided to wait for his artillery to catch up. Shortly after its arrival he led the army against the remaining French forces defending the city. With four to one odds on his side, the battle was quickly over. The surrender of Amiens left the road to Paris open.

sackofparisrb0.jpg

The Sack of Paris, Summer 1711
Not to be denied once again, van Atrecht left his lieutenants in charge of mopping up French resistance in Picardie and rushed south with the majority of his troops. The medieval walls of Paris were still damaged from van Atrecht’s previous siege. After a week of heavy shelling they were finally breached, and Dutch soldiers flooded into the city. For the next three days chaos reigned as the Dutch and British mercenaries ransacked the city. Much of the North Bank was burnt by out of control fires, and only the luck of the wind kept the blaze from crossing the Seine. Van Atrecht made sure to seize the city treasury and royal residence to hold as collateral against the French king. Once the pillaging ended, the Army left the city and split up, spreading out across the undefended countryside of Normandy and the Loire Valley.

Elsewhere in the East​
While van Atrecht put northern France to the torch, to the east General Barhydt struggled to hold the line. His political opposition to Brandt’s coup meant that he was effectively on his own, without support from the government. He was not without resources however. Retreating from the nearly forgotten battlefields of the east, the Armies of Hesse and Cleves joined Barhydt’s forces around Nancy to wait out the winter. Leading them was Herbert Lippstadt, a prosperous noble from eastern Hesse. With connections to the banks in Frankfurt, Lippstadt was able to secure a line of credit for the combined forces. For the next few months, at least, Barhydt could continue paying his soldiers’ contracts.

Further good news came with the return of General Kraichgau in February. Since October the German cavalryman and his 12,000 mercenaries had raided throughout the Franche-Comte, one step ahead of the French. His return not only gave Barhydt a much needed screening force for the spring campaign, but he also brought back two thousand Swiss and Savoyard patriots willing to fight against the French. The added reinforcements were a godsend, bringing Barhydt’s Army of Brabant up to 28,000.

Barhydt needed all the men he could get. He faced three French armies that threatened him on three sides – 17,000 to the north, 19,000 in the Meuse valley and 22,000 to the south, until recently busy chasing Kraichgau’s raiders. There was also the ever-present threat of Imperial forces arriving from the east. Surrounded by enemies, the fate of Lorraine rested in the hands of God.

Barhydt decided to strike first, not waiting for the arrival of spring. Still hoping for the opportunity to march north and pressure Brandt into resigning, he sent the German regiments to secure a route back into the Netherlands through Luxembourg. Meanwhile, Barhydt and Kraichgau took their combined forces across the Meuse to deal with the first French army. Outnumbered and outmaneuvered, the smaller French force fought gallantly, but in vain. Kraichgau chased the survivors north up the river while Barhydt took the Army of Brabant back into Lorraine.

But while the two general were busy clearing the Meuse, the French army to the south took the opportunity to march behind them into Lorraine. The cunning maneuver resulted in the capture of Nancy, Barhydt’s base of operations. He was now tied up with dealing with the southern threat and recapturing the city before the French could penetrate further into Lorraine.

The End of One War, the Beginning of Another​
By summer the French were slowly but surely coming undone. Paris was firmly under Dutch control, nearly all resistance between the Somme and the Seine had been eliminated, and Nancy was retaken after heavy fighting. The French king had hoped that the increasing Imperial threat to the United Provinces might force the Dutch to withdraw, but Brandt was seized with a determination to win in the south. A retreat would only give France time to rebuild for another attack.

The defeat of France’s last major army in the north at Cambray signaled the end. Atrecht’s marauding companies were in the process of razing half the country to the ground, while the king’s inability to even try and retake Paris threatened to topple his rule. A meeting of envoys in Châteauroux ended with a truce after France agreed to surrender claims beyond the Authie and Meuse rivers. The Dutch refused to return Luxembourg, given the fortress’ vital importance in the ongoing war with Austria. The French protested the move but were left with few options to contest the move.

frencpeacecm4.jpg

French Peace
It was now the height of summer, 1711. The armies of the Netherlands were spread across the landscape of France, 300 miles from the capital. The Austrians were much closer.

austrianadvancecopyan8.jpg

Next – Things Get Worse
 
Last edited:

unmerged(47582)

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Aug 15, 2005
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The Dutch kicking some french ass never gets old... :D

You even got Luxemburg out of the peace deal... The BeNeLux is born!

Maybe you could give us a little update about the armies ( the Dutch and Austrians)?
 

Qorten

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Things get worse? Can't be that bad. Even with the HRE title I doubt the Austrians can have as many soldiers as the french did. Of course you must be out of manpower now, or at least nearly.